Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Differing perspective on “white boys”

It never fails to amuse me the way some people have trouble comprehending the fact that black people in our society have a slightly differing perspective on things than others do.

RUSH: Too loose w/ the lip?
They’re usually the first to scream “reverse racism” (or some other term) when black people don’t quite see things the same.

WHICH IS WHY some people are trying to make an issue over the fact that Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., called out Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., when the latter came up with an unrealistic idea for dealing with the problem of street gangs.

The senator would like the federal government to do the equivalent of declaring war on the Gangster Disciples, even if it means using force to arrest them all.

Rush, who was once a member of the activist Black Panther group that the government tried to take such an approach with back in the early 1970s, went so far as to lambaste Kirk in the Chicago Sun-Times for offering an, “empty, simplistic, unworkable approach,” and called Kirk himself an “elitist white boy.”

The Chicago Tribune on Monday went so far as to call Rush’s comments “repugnant” and say that he ought to be working with Kirk – instead of criticizing him.

COMPARED TO OTHERS who have been bashing Rush, the Tribune is being rather polite, courteous and respectful.

Because it seems there are some people who want to believe that it would be appropriate to have our officials start violating rights of individuals who aren’t like themselves. As though they believe the Constitution is only for themselves.

I know one individual who usually shows large amounts of common sense. But a few weeks ago, he started talking about gang problems and suggested that all suspected gang members be put on board a boat that should then be sunk in the depths of Lake Michigan.

KIRK: A solution, or another problem?
It’s nonsense to take that notion seriously. But it’s just as ridiculous as the Kirk talk about unleashing the powers of the government against these particular individuals, since street gang affiliations are rarely so simply that we can readily identify who is what.

ALTHOUGH SOME PEOPLE now want to react as though Kirk has some sort of logic in his babbling, and that Rush is just looking to provoke trouble.

Ignoring the fact that Rush speaks from a perspective of people who have seen the power of the government turned against them, and realizes how harmful this could be.

No one should think this commentary is a defense of a street gang’s activity. It isn’t. Then again, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, in fact, our whole form of government, is meant to protect everybody.

It is not supposed to be selective. If it were, we’d be just as bad as the nations of the world our society so often likes to criticize!

BUT THERE WILL be those who won’t want to hear that. They’re going to latch onto that “white boy” phrase and try to claim that it is Rush who started the dispute.

It’s way too similar to the Democratic primary for governor back in 1998, where former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris (whose record on paper was more substantial than anyone else he ran against) dismissed his challengers as “unqualified white boys.”

He was offended that so many people were willing and eager to put those challengers on an equal plane as himself. The offense experienced by potential voters to Burris’ nerve was a factor in his eventual loss to now-former Rep. Glenn Poshard (whose inexperience in dealing with anything urban caused his eventual loss in the general election that year to George Ryan).

Now, we’re living through something similar with Rush – although I doubt the backlash will hurt the long-time Congressman who remains popular with his South Side voter base.

IF ANYTHING HURTS Rush, it’s going to be his increasing age.

Although I suspect his willingness to express that “black” viewpoint on this issue (although I’m sure there also are black people who disagree) will ensure that those voters will be willing to keep Rush in Congress until he decides to step down on his own.


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